A DDI solution for your business is a must-have at this stage. Hopefully, there will soon be a Magic Quadrant for Network Management from Gartner, but in the meantime, the following are key things to know.
1. The Basics
DDI is made up of three things. DNS provides the IP addresses, DHCP assigns those addresses, and IPAM manages the IP resources. When you bring these three elements together into one solution, then you can change your network management for the better.
The Domain Name System or DNS is often referred to as the phonebook of the internet. It takes the domain names we use and remember as humans and transforms them into the internet’s language, in the form of an IP address.
DNS lets computers and other devices talk to one another, and each has its own unique IP address.
DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, and this is the standard way that within a network, IP addresses are assigned. When a device joins a network, it will usually ask for an IP address from the DHCP server. Then, the server assigns the address and the device can communicate with an internal network and public internet as well.
IPAM stands for IP address management, which is a way to plan, track and also manage your IP address space on the network. For enterprise networks, there are often hundreds or even thousands of connected devices, so you need a streamlined way to manage them all.
2. Why You Need a DDI Solution
A DDI solution is beneficial at the enterprise level because it lets you manage the IPAM tasks easily. It alleviates the need for spreadsheet-based management, which leaves open room for error, is clunky, and is hard to update.
When you have a DDI solution, your network is going to operate more efficiently overall, saving money.
Specific benefits of a DDI solution for administrators include:
- More automation of maintenance tasks
- Better visibility into what could become potential conflicts when updating data
- Improved context for reporting and auditing
- Increased efficiency
- Better security and support
- Strengthened resiliency
- The ability to selectively deploy network devices
- IP address assignments are automatically updated
3. DDI Is Important for Management of Multi-Cloud Environments
DDI has become an important networking technology for many organizations, especially because of the proliferation of multi-cloud and multi-device environments, as well as growing security threats.
When you use an integrated DDI management solution, you can automate the management of the interaction between DNS, DHCP, and IPAM. Then, that allows you to more efficiently deal with an increasing volume of IP addresses.
4. Features to Look For in a DDI Solution
When you’re comparing DDI solutions, consider the following features and make sure you’re looking for them:
- Real-time view of your network and DDI data
- Integration of your DNS and DHCP service with your IP address management tool
- Scalability with an open architecture
- User-friendly interface
- Compatibility with virtual and physical appliances
- Critical services security
- Support for theIPv6 DNS transition
5. DDI Is Critical to IoT
The Internet of Things or IoT era is officially here, and businesses are scrambling to find ways to prepare when everything is connected. It’s expected that there will be around 80 billion internet-connected devices by 2025.
IoT is now the norm, and business leaders have to stay afloat in this area.
Despite the advantages of IoT, it brings about challenges. These challenges, in particular, relate to network security and management when there are so many devices.
The set of tools that make up DDI is going to be integral to IoT and meeting the challenges it can bring.
As the number of connected devices grows, businesses are going to start to run out of IPv4 addresses. They’ll have to then move to IPv6, which makes things more complex. Also, many IoT devices are deployed by the operational technology group. It may be impossible for network operations to even know about all of the devices.
IPAM delivers visibility into all connected endpoints.
IPAM solutions can deliver alerts when a new endpoint connects to the network, and it provides highly detailed information about the device status.
All new devices have to make a DHCP request, and that can then help provide automated discovery of IoT devices. If someone were to hijack a device, a DDI solution when it’s configured properly could then remove it from the network.
Finally, DDI solutions improve security in a variety of ways, some of which are related to IoT and others which aren’t.